Project Title

Cubesat 5000

Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2020


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Dr. John Choi

Third Committee Member

Professor Charles Pringle


Cubesat 5000 is designed for the annual Physics weather balloon launch which is done for the senior level astrophysics students. Students use the weather balloons to get better visuals of the sun in the upper atmosphere. The purpose of the Cubesat 5000 design is to keep the instrumentation inside safe during and after the launch, maintain working temperature, and to remain below a 400-gram weight requirements in order to achieve optimum altitude.

The outer cube assembly was designed using Solidworks and printed using PETG filament. The weight of the cube has been measured and design changes were made done to remain within the weight requirement. Through 3D printing the outer assembly could be light weighted by removing excess material while leaving diagonal supports to protect the corners during impact. The container was insulated using foam coated in aluminum foil against the colder external temperatures. The instrumentation is mounted onto a plate with a repeated hole pattern which is then pinned to the internal insulation.

The external cube assembly has been run on a non linear transient response analysis using Nastran Inventor to determine the weakest point of the assembly during impact. Per the analysis the design will be able to sustain the max internal strain during impact as the max strain is under the 6000 psi yield for the material. The maximum strain is 5400 psi at the lid support in the corner of impact. The insulation is suitable enough to keep the temperature above functioning levels for the electronics.